Laine Nooney is a video games historian and post-doctorate researcher at New York University. She is also an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During the course of her research, Nooney conducted oral histories with past employees of Sierra On-Line in 2014, while also acquiring the archival materials which comprise this collection.
On-Line Systems was founded in 1979 by Ken and Roberta Williams, later adopting the name Sierra On-Line in 1982. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Sierra released many significant games that changed the way home computers entertained the public, such as King’s Quest and Police Quest. In 1991, Sierra began The ImagiNation Network, a hub for online gamers to connect, play, chat, and post with one another, revolutionizing the home gaming experience well before massive online multiplayer games existed. In 1996, Sierra On-Line was sold to CUC International for a price of $1.5 billion, and a year later, Ken and Roberta Williams left the company.
CUC International then merged with HFS Incorporated in 1997, forming the Cendant Corporation. During the following years, Sierra On-Line restructured itself multiple times to adapt its focus to the consumer gaming market, while also ceasing to be a developer of games and becoming a publisher of games. Eventually Sierra was taken under Vivendi Games, which then merged with Activision to form Activision Blizzard, which is the current parent company of Sierra Entertainment today. Sierra is now responsible for reviving older games of Activision Blizzard, while also working on smaller projects.